“Yá’át’ééh shik’éí dóó shidine’é (Hello my relatives and my people). Renée Dennison yinishyé (Iam called Renée Dennison). Lók’aa’ Ta’neeszahnii (I am of the Tangle clan). Áshįįhi Kinyaa’áanii (I am born of the Towering House clan). I am a member of the Diné (Navajo Nation) and grew up on the Navajo Nation.”
In May 2018, Renée received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography from ASU’s School of Art, Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts. Her MFA Thesis Exhibition entitled, “Kinyaa’áanii, Towering House”, chronicled her experiences with her 106-year-old grandmother and her own exploration of identity.
Before graduating from the fine arts program at ASU, Renée spent over twenty years working for Native American organizations and tribal governments. She received a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Maryland and an M.B.A. in Finance and Investments from George Washington University in Washington, DC.
Renee’s work was selected by Curator Engine, for a year-long exhibition at the ASU Graduate College beginning in September 2018 through September 2019. The company works with local artists to help bridge the gap between local artists and art buyers. Her work was part of the 2018 Inaugural Galbut Exhibition sponsored by Martin and Cynthia Galbut at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Art’s Harry Wood Art gallery. In 2017, in commemoration of Mother’s Day, Renée collaborated with Creative Push, a multimedia visual art and oral history project organization to present a short film featuring five Native American women who shared their stories of the changing history, culture, and traditions of birth entitled, “Our Creation Stories, The Changing History, Culture and Traditions of Birth” at the Heard Museum. In the summer of 2016, Renée traveled to Mongolia as the recipient of the Nathan Cummings Travel Award. She experienced first-hand the traditional and contemporary lifestyles of the people of Mongolia that are similar to the Diné people and who share a similar cultural upbringing. She investigated how the Mongolian culture, and the future generations of tribes’ people are handling their own shift in culture and traditions from their nomadic way of life to modern urban influences that encroach on their traditional lifestyles.
As a native woman, it is important to Renée to make work that is an authentic representation of native people and to emphasize diversity of native people and cultures.